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Learning that Matters
The Beaconhills Alumni Association’s inaugural Trivia Night held earlier this month was a big success.
The 130 College and alumni community members raised more than $2000 towards the new Monash Children’s Hospital, which will service many children from our region. A big thanks to Bethany Thearle, John Waterhouse, Belinda Malcolm, Nigel Boltwin and Kylie Whitwood.
An even bigger and better event is planned next year. You can join the Beaconhills Alumni Association through the College Shop.
Junior School students from Beaconhills College’s Pakenham Campus brought the classic tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to life on stage last term.
Harriet V (Year 4) was a star performer in the lead role of Goldilocks. The show was the Roald Dahl musical adaptation of the famous fairytale. Year 4 students now take part in a major production at Beaconhills each year.
Harriet V was a convincing Goldilocks
I would like to share a few exam tips in this blog.
Firstly, I hope all students are having a good holiday break in readiness for Term 4. I’m sure Year 12 students need little reminder that final exams are not far away! Holidays are an important time to draw breath before the final month of exam preparation. By now Year 12s should have completed all of their assessment tasks.
I would recommend getting the material you need to study for each subject into summaries and use these to trigger your memories of the information you have learned. Essentially you want to create a manageable tool for revision, as well as build a clear program for each day with designated breaks.
While this article linked here on ‘maximising study and minimising stress’ is a couple of years old, it has some excellent advice on getting ready for exams. I hope it is useful.
I look forward to seeing you all back at Beaconhills College very soon.
Little Beacons Learning Centre has launched what is believed to be an Australian first – an overnight camp for pre-schoolers.
Four and five-year-old children from Little Beacons recently spent the night at Camp Jungai in Rubicon, Victoria.
The 35 excited children left with staff in the afternoon and were joined by their parents later that evening.
The Early Explorers program at the centre is the first step in Beaconhills College’s huge outdoor education and global program – Beacon Explorers. It begins with four year olds and builds to longer and more challenging experiences, including visiting and volunteering in destinations such as East Timor and Vietnam.
Head of Little Beacons, Vicki Reid, said the Jungai experience helped children build confidence about going on camp, as they were able to reconnect with their parents in the early evening.
Until now, Early Explorers at Little Beacons has involved weekly expeditions to explore some of the natural bush habitats on the College grounds at its Pakenham Campus.
Ms Reid said the Jungai program was based around Indigenous learning. Beaconhills teacher Lynette George, who leads the College’s Indigenous programs, attended along with Shawn Andrews from education provider Indigicate.
Activities included an orienteering session, boomerang painting and a nature trail walk. Shawn Andrews told children a story of ‘how the kookaburra found his laugh’ and also led a separate session with parents on Indigenous culture and history.
Sam Maddock, who heads the College’s Beacon Explorers program, said he was not aware of a similar outdoor education experience for pre-school aged children in Australia.
He said the camp – which he described as amazing – helped build resilience in young children by “normalising being away from home”.
“It also means the foundations are there next year for our Beacon Explorers program when children go into Prep,” he said.
Ms Reid said what struck her most about the whole experience was the way children responded to the ‘outdoor classroom’: “And the biggest complaint from parents was that the camp wasn’t long enough!”
One of Beaconhills College’s international students Rachel Chen has won a Latrobe University prize at the Japanese Language Speech Contest Victoria.
Rachel, whose first language is Mandarin, beat 20 other speakers from across Victoria with her three-minute speech in Japanese. She spoke about Japanese traditional food ‘Natto’ (fermented soy beans).
Proud teacher Junji Sakamoto said Rachel, who is Year 12, did an outstanding job to not only speak so well in a second language, but also in front of a large audience.
“Her speech had a sense of humour as well as showed her true interests in Japanese culture, which I feel attracted the judges’ attention,” Mr Sakamoto said. “Although Rachel has an enormous amount of her usual school work, she practised her speech many times.”
Rachel said while Chinese and Japanese languages were quite similar to an extent, they differed in their grammar patterns and pronunciations, which “caused her some difficulties”.
“As they especially are extremely similar in writing, I often get confused. Sometimes I will write Japanese in a Chinese essay by mistake!” she said.
Rachel delivers her speech in Japanese
It’s one of the most feared of all adult activities, but public speaking doesn’t phase Year 4 student Logan W one bit.
The Beaconhills Berwick Campus student was a gold medal winner in the recent House public speaking competition. His topic was My favourite sport.
Head of the Junior School, Cheryl Jones, said Logan was one of the students who reached a very high standard in a number of categories during his speech to families, teachers and other students.
Beaconhills students learn the valuable skill of public speaking from an early age. Gold medal winners from the House competition will present their two-minute speeches again in a special assembly after the Grand Final.
Logan W spoke well on his topic of sport
Beaconhills College has established an incredible program of outdoor education, global and co-curricular experiences for students – Beacon Explorers. Next year we will be taking the program to an even higher level.
In recent years, many Year 9 students have participated in these life-changing experiences, visiting and volunteering in Vietnam or East Timor, or taking on the challenge of a nine-day hike through some of our Victorian countryside.
In 2017, the program will offer Year 10 students a ‘smorgasbord’ of outdoor and global options. Students can choose between trips to Chicago, China, East Timor, Vietnam or Jabiru (an NT indigenous-based program), or abseiling, rock-climbing, surfing, sea-kayaking or stand-up paddling in a range of Victorian locations.
Beacon Explorers is a comprehensive program spanning all year levels. I believe the benefits it brings to our students are immeasurable – critical life skills such as leadership, resilience and learning to work collaboratively, to name a few.
These experiences are not just about sight-seeing. Community service is an important element and this invariably gives students a much greater appreciation of how fortunate they really are.
Is your password abc123 or qwerty? If so, you could risk being hacked in just milliseconds.
How to create secure passwords was just one of the interesting tips for Beaconhills College Middle School students currently taking part in Wellbeing Week (see more great tips below).
Guest presenter Dom Phelan from the Optus Digital Thumbprint program led one of the many interesting workshops students are enjoying this week.
The week also covers topics such as developing positive life habits and making good choices, personal health and puberty and a ‘Bully Zero’ presentation which looks at the cyber world and helps students protect themselves from online bullying. In one workshop students learn self-defence skills.
A Footy Colours Day on Friday 9 September raises money for research into Epidermolysis Bullosa – a rare skin disorder.
Dom Phelan’s key ‘digital insight’ tips:
• Always report when any of your social media accounts are hacked
• Remember all your information/posts becomes the property of the social media platform
• It can take up to two years to delete a Facebook account
• https://howsecureismypassword.net/ is safe way to test your password strength (tells you how it takes before someone can hack your password)
• Use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, symbols and numbers in passwords
• Never use your name or date of birth in your password
• Don’t keep passwords on the note section of your phone – this can be hacked
• Have at least three passwords – for social media, school and your bank account
Beaconhills College’s Head of Wellbeing Yvonne Ashmore said the school prioritises student wellbeing and aims to give students age-appropriate, expert information.
The sessions were rated and chosen by students from the previous year.
Workshop presenter Dom Phelan
Year 7s learned self-defence skills in a workshop
A huge new solar installation will make Beaconhills College one of the largest solar-powered schools in Australia.
The College is about to install a new 200kw solar system at its Berwick Campus, to add to its existing 100kw system. Another 100kw installation is also operating at the Pakenham Campus.
The new Berwick installation will lead to a 40 per cent reduction in the overall electricity purchased for the campus from the grid.
The move is just one of a raft of environmental initiatives set out in the College’s new ‘Green report’. The report charts the achievements under the school’s innovative Environmental and Sustainability plan, aimed at lightening its environmental footprint.
Encouraging students to be responsible stewards of the environment is also one of the school’s key ‘Learning That Matters’ philosophies.
Business Manager David Young said that for students to embrace the ‘green message’, it was important to lead by example.
He said the Beaconhills College goal was to be fully sustainable on its own energy within 10 years.
“We have introduced many strategies to help reduce our impact on the environment,” Mr Young said. “The results have been significant, particularly given the growth of our school, but of course there is always more we can do.”
One of the learning benefits of the solar installations is a web-based reporting system which allows students in class to track the energy levels produced by the sun.
The College has three worm forms which consume about 290kg of organic waste each week, along with a three-bin recycling system throughout the school. There are 46 water tanks which have helped cut mains water use from 45 litres per person, per day, to 11 litres per person in 2012. The target for next year is just seven litres,
Six vegetable gardens across both campuses, as well as two indigenous food gardens, supply produce for menus in Food Technology classes while the compost goes back to the worm farms. Little Beacons Learning Centre uses the fresh, organic produce for its pre-school menus while the ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy also helps teach children about healthy food and sustainability.
Mr Young said Beaconhills would continue to keep working hard to educate students and staff about sustainability.
“We will also keep consulting with experts on ways to further improve, ensuring we tap in to recent research and find the industry best practice,” he said.
Change requires a leap of faith, as the saying goes.
Thankfully, the founders of our College took that leap of faith more than three decades ago. They decided to forge ahead with a new Christian school in Pakenham, which of course became Beaconhills College. It was undoubtedly a change for the better in terms of education offerings in our region.
I was not able to attend our Founders’ Day service held this week at the Pakenham Campus, but I know that it was, once again, a wonderful opportunity to recognise the pioneers of our College and celebrate our growth and achievements over the past 34 years. With campuses in Pakenham and Berwick and more than 3000 students, we have certainly come a long way.
I thank the Bishop to the Anglican Schools in Melbourne, The Right Rev. Lindsay Urwin, as well as members of the College Board, alumni staff, House patrons and of course students and staff for being part of this annual event.
It makes me proud to be part of a school where the quality of our education and facilities, the depth of our programs and commitment of our staff now means we have second generation students completing their schooling with us.
Senior Chaplain Rev. Peggy Kruse said this at the service: “May our footprints leave a path for others to follow”. This is a wonderful message. We all stand on the shoulders of those before us, including those founders who took that first leap of faith.
Rev. Peggy Kruse chats to students at the Founders’ Day service
Bishop Lindsay Urwin
Senior footy win
Walk for Disability
Hoop Time winners
Hello from China!
Award for sporting all-rounder
Year 8s head for the hills
Dancers claim silver
Donations put to good use
Reports that tell the whole story
What are your values?
A commitment to Indigenous education
Help shape our school’s future
Why we value chaplaincy
Recent events in Sri Lanka
A message of hope this Easter
Bushfires: thanks for your support
Boarding residence now open to local students
Order of Australia medal for College Board Chairman
Welcome to a new school year
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Gate C, Syme Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810